CORTLAND (WKBN) — A Gustavus man facing charges stemming from the investigation that led to the removal of dozens of hens and roosters from a property in Gustavus last summer has entered a plea.
Marcial Angel pleaded no contest and was found guilty of five of the 12 initial misdemeanor counts he was charged with in Central District Court on Friday morning. The charges include possession of criminal tools, cruelty to animals, and animal fights.
“We feel that this is an appropriate resolution given that this is a first-time offense, no prior criminal history as well as a very deep expression of remorse in this case,” said attorney Dana Pannella, the special prosecutor.
Angel’s conviction on the five misdemeanors stems from an Animal Welfare League investigation.
According to CEO Lori Shandor, seven dogs and more than 100 birds were removed from Angel’s property on Saddler Krohler Road in Gustavus last August. Shandor says a large number of knife-like tools typically attached to roosters’ legs for fighting were also found at the property.
As part of his plea agreement, Angel’s jail sentence was suspended. He’s also banned from owning or living with animals until the court approves and will be on non-reporting probation for 5 years which allows Animal Welfare League humane agents to perform random checks.
“He did not realize what he was doing was wrong, his operation was visible right from the road. People that engage in wrongful behavior that know that conceal things, he did not,” said Angel’s attorney Gary Rich.
Visiting judge Andrew Suhar ordered Angel to pay more than $3,000 in restitution to the Animal Welfare League plus a $200 fine and court costs for a grand total of $6,253.46.